It took a fair while to happen, but it’s happening, alright. Built upon the success of the Surface line, Windows tablet OEMs have now started cutting into Apple iPad sales.
We got a confirmation earlier today, and now another report reveals the same.
As IDC reveals in its latest research, Redmond has certainly struck gold while spearheading the transition to 2-in-1 devices running its operating system.
More specifically, Apple tablet sales have fallen 18.8% year-over-year. In other words, instead of growing, the iPad lineup has practically dropped by one fifth. All in a span where Microsoft has not actually launched a new Surface slate.
And while Apple still remains a tablet leader, fierce competition from other companies, including Microsoft, is clearly dragging it down by notable amounts.
As IDC notes:
“Apple’s venerable hold on the tablet market is yet to be challenged although the company is not immune to overall market challenges, declining 18.8% in 4Q16. The iPad Pro lineup made up only a small portion of overall shipments as the iPad Air 2 and Mini tablets continued to account for the majority of the shipments for Apple. For every 10 slate tablets shipped, Apple only sold 1 iPad Pro tablet.”
Apple basically sold only 13.1 million iPads in the fourth quarter of last year — a figure that is down from the total of 16.1 million the same quarter of 2015, translating to a drop of 3 million units.
What’s even more interesting is that while Microsoft and Apple tried to maintain momentum in the fourth quarter, Redmond did not actually unveil a new product last year. Meaning that in Q4 2016, its latest Surface models were already one year old
And they continued to sell well despite the lack of a hardware refresh.
But hardware refreshes are coming, both from Apple and Microsoft, very soon. And what happens when they do, will become the real talking point.